Sprint experiences iPhone 4S growing pains

Sprint is learning that stamping its name on the all powerful iPhone brand is not all fun and games.

The carrier is working to calm legions of its customers who are outraged at what they describe as unacceptably slow data speeds.

Shortly after the phone went on sale a couple weeks ago, people began posting their complaints on Sprint’s official message boards. As of around 1 PM Eastern Time, one discussion thread reached an astounding 64 pages.

Users have reported getting speeds of as low as 0.20 Mbps, a good six or seven times slower than what a good 3G service would offer.

Sprint is the only one to offer unlimited iPhone data, so either it is slowing down the speeds intentionally to lower its internal costs, or there’s a technical problem that Sprint needs to overcome.

The carrier issued this statement:

“Overall, iPhone performance on the Sprint network is consistent with our expectations and the rest of our high-end portfolio. Sprint also did benchmarking of Sprint’s iPhone against competitors’ iPhones, and the testing showed little to no performance difference. We are seeing a very low return rate for this device, but we are watching the reports of speed issues very closely. We do see opportunities to optimize performance, specifically in high network capacity areas. We see this as typical optimization work and do not have any specific area of concern. Sprint is committed to providing the best possible experience for our customers. We are listening to our customers and working closely with our partners at Apple to ensure optimal performance of iPhone devices on our network.”